High Five in association withThe Immortal Awards

High Five Music Monthly: Justin "Commie" McMullen

Music & Sound
London, UK
Big Sync Music's new executive creative director, Justin "Commie" McMullen, shares five musical performances that have evoked emotion and provided new perspective for the year ahead

After a tough couple of years for the live scene, I'm really looking forward to getting back out to gigs. January is always such a great time for new music and is a wonderful palate cleanser after a month of Mariah and Ladbaby. With my selection, I wanted to pick a couple of great live performances as well as traditional music videos. I hope you enjoy them...

Fred Again - 'Studio Live 2: Kahan (Last Year)'

Licensed to YouTube by: WMG (on behalf of East West Records UK Ltd)

There is no artist who has come closer to defining the last two years to me than Fred Again. The two albums he released this last year will stay with me forever. He is a huge talent who won the Brit award for Best Producer in 2021, and has created these emotional journeys of soulful dance music narrated by snatched song and poetry samples, Instagram clips and his own voice to narrate a journey of lockdown, love and loss. This is the second live performance video, released this week. The first had me in tears at points and as Afrojack said in the YouTube comments: "This is the future."

alt-J - 'Hard Drive Gold'

Production: Biscuit Filmworks
Directors: Joe Newman and Darcy Wallace

There is no doubt that a lot of us watched 'Don’t Look Up' over the holidays, a film which certainly made me contemplate what one would do when faced with the end of the world. The new alt-J single, which is actually about the Crypto gold rush, gives its own answer to the statement - do the thing you love with the ones you love while you still have the chance. It's brilliantly shot with a clever off-the-wall concept, with our protagonist embarking on her final journey as all hell breaks loose around her. I think I would probably just pour a large Scotch and have a cuddle with my family.

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - 'Black Hot Soup' (DJ Shadow rewrite of 'My Own Reality')

Performed by: John Safran ft. Alkiviadis Grapsas, John Dimoulas and Francis Vo
Director: John Angus Stewart

As very much a product of the '90s dance music scene and a house DJ myself, I was always a huge fan of the 'massive drug-fuelled bender' music videos. Prodigy's 'Smack My Bitch Up' and Flowered Up's 'Weekender' being two stand-out classics for me. DJ Shadow has smashed it out of the park with this remix of KGATLW, invoking that dirty chemical beats vibe that feels very like early Chemical Brothers. This video stars Australian documentary-maker and radio jock, John Safran, in a very different role. He brings a compelling energy to the film with his crazy dancing and manic skittishness; it makes you think of an office nerd going on his first ever drugs bender...

Son Lux - 'Plans We Made'

Director: Mahdi Mouika

This video is all about the incredible choreography and how it brilliantly reflects the gaunt and delicate electronica of Son Lux and their singer Ryan Lott's fragile voice. I have huge respect for great choreography and I have a dear friend who is brilliant at it. Unfortunately, I have all the rhythm and poise of a drunk blind rhino - but I do appreciate it nonetheless. The film is directed by Mahdi Mouika - aka Medy the Minimalist - who is also the main character in the video. I was not aware of his work before now, but it definitely has its own captivating style.

Tiny Desk (Home) Concert: Wet Leg

If there was any artist in the UK that came out of nowhere last year to get everyone freaking out, Wet Leg were that band. The debut single 'Chaise Longue' was perfect, and thankfully everything released since then has been brilliant too. They look like a '70s band but, to me, I hear The Pixies, The Sugarcubes and The Bangles. The two main band members, Rhian and Hester, have a wonderful understated charm to them that cuts right through the screen, and I love the 'wink wink', 'shy-yet-sarcastic' vibe they give off, as if the whole situation is just too ridiculous and they can’t, even for a second, take it too seriously, and could explode into fits of giggles at any second. Utterly charming.

Work from Big Sync Music
Raise the Jar Layers
Raise the Jar Sorbetto